Elaine & Shane were married on October 6th 2017 in a ceremony at St. Colmcille’s Church, Knockfola, Co. Donegal, before hosting their reception at Harvey’s Point. Here, Elaine shares the inspiration behind their wedding, as well as her advice for anyone currently planning their wedding day.
How did you & your husband meet?
Shane and I met through a mutual friend over 9 years ago. He won me over when he sang ‘Caledonia’ at a local bar. He sang it so effortlessly; I was so impressed I instantly fell in love with his voice.
He was studying at university in Liverpool at the time so we would meet up whenever he was at home and the rest is history. When I introduced him to my son Dillon, they instantly hit it off and became very close, which sealed the deal for me. This may sound cliché but he was and still is the perfect gentleman. He has the patience of a saint and bends over backwards to ensure our happiness. I couldn’t have asked for a better husband and friend and we’re so lucky to have him in our lives.
Tell us about that proposal!
Th proposal came as a total shock. I wasn’t expecting it AT ALL!! Even though when I look back, all the telltale signs were there, they just went over my head!
Shane took me away for a pampering weekend to The Ice House, Co. Mayo. On the day of the proposal he sent me off to the spa for the works and was in a panic when we couldn’t get any appointment to have my nails done (he must have rang every beauty salon in Mayo)!
That evening he organised a surprise meal in the charming Belleek Castle, knowing that I have a terrible soft spot for historic and romantic castles.
So, first of all, we went for a stroll by the River Moy. It had started to rain so I picked up the pace to hurry back to the castle (I knew he had bubbly waiting)! Shane called me from behind and when I turned around he was on bended-knee holding the engagement ring. My heart skipped two beats when he asked if I’d do him the honour of becoming his wife. Of course I said YES, I was thrilled. Then it was time to break out the tissues as we shared the news with our families and close friends. Emotions were high on both sides of the phone.
Shane is an old romantic and I was secretly impressed when I learnt he had firstly asked my father for my hand in marriage.
What did you love most about planning your wedding?
I dedicated a lot of time into planning our wedding and loved every single minute of it, from choosing our venue and wine tasting to the ceremony and reception music. I created endless boards on Pinterest and had every wedding / bridal magazine out there!
I think that the whole planning and decision making process made the entire event come to life. Don’t get me wrong, it did get overwhelming at times but this is when I thanked my lucky stars that I had great family and friends to keep me sane and to delegate some odd jobs to.
To be honest planning our wedding was like planning one big fancy party. The biggest party we’ll ever throw in our lives!
Describe your dress. How did you find ‘the one’?
I get butterflies everytime I think about my dress. I found ‘the one’ in Forever Bridal, Belfast. I must thank Leondra who suggested trying on the dress. She was amazing to deal with.
It’s ‘The Desire Dress’ from the haute couture collection by mother and daughter design team, Naama & Anat.
The dress was handcrafted with lace motifs and has the most flattering shape. It was fitted to my knees with beaded lace flair from the knee to the floor. My wedding dress was custom made to my measurements by Naama & Anat and was so comfortable and lightweight to wear. I also had my veil custom made by Naama & Anat to match the dress.
Who were your bridesmaids?
I had six beautiful ladies by my side – my sister Kathleen, nieces Tara, Chelsea & Sinéad, dearest friend Eileen and my sister in law Aoife.
For them I choose the multiway dresses as I knew I would never get one that would suit or please all six girls!
These dresses are so versatile, flattering and most importantly comfortable. I choose various shades of pink, from blush to a purple/pink, which I think worked really well together. I was absolutely thrilled at how stunning they all looked on the day.
Tell us about your bouquet
My bouquet was made by the ever so talented Heaven Scent Florist in Carndonagh, Co. Donegal and consisted of a mixture of various peonies in dried silk, which was fabulous as I still have them and they’re as fresh as ever. I had my Grandmother’s rosary beads wrapped around the stems as my ‘something old’.
What did you love most about your wedding venue?
Where do I start?! Any visit to Harvey’s Point is a magical experience but to have your wedding reception there is literally a dream come true. The idyllic setting and grounds are breathtaking with spectacular views of Lough Eske and The Blue Stack Mountains. The wedding team, particularly Joanne and Samantha are the best in the business. Nothing was ever a problem and they assisted and advised us in any way possible and helped make our wedding day the most wonderful day of our lives. It truly was everything we had dreamed of and more.
What advice would you offer other brides?
I know every bride says it but DELEGATE! You’ll be overwhelmed with offers from everyone trying to help you so don’t be afraid to hand over some of the planning, especially to your family and friends. I would have been lost without mine. You can repay them with lots of wine. It’s also important to be super organised from the off. Keep a diary of everything from suppliers to deposits paid. Lastly, enjoy every moment! You’ll only do this once in your life so make sure you enjoy the full experience.
Finally, what led to you choosing Catherine as your wedding photographer?
Choosing our wedding photographer was one of the toughest decisions in planning our wedding and it was one we both took our time with. We wanted a creative, professional, open minded and imaginative photographer who we would feel comfortable sharing our wedding day with. That’s exactly what we got with Catherine. She made us feel at ease from the off. She’s so enthusiastic and passionate when it comes to her work and it shows in every photo. She has a fantastic eye for detail and took shots of the small but equally important things at our wedding. We’ve had a preview of our wedding photos and literally couldn’t be happier. I cannot wait to get my hands on the finished album. I’d highly recommend Catherine. She really works magic with her camera and definitely delivered some amazing and unique images.